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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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number of dependent children to feed, support, and educate, while the second, among other things, adds to the demands for jobs and cooperating factors of production required to create new jobs. Though both components can be expressed in common terms, more people, they are not commensurate. Each poses a different underlying problem; each calls for a different method of analysis; and the appropriate policy for one may be different from that for the other. Clearly, socially acceptable policies may not greatly affect adult survival; population policies are largely limited to altering future birth rates— which remain in the domain of the family.
This paper adopts the perspective of the family and has investigated how the family's economic and reproductive behavior may be influenced by population growth. Consequently, attention has centered on the first and probably smaller of the components—the reduction in child mortality—which impinges on parents' well-being directly. This paper has argued that a reasonable model of family decision-making suggests the existence of a feedback mechanism that motivates parents to regulate their fertility in response to major changes in child mortality. Close examination of statistical evidence reveals that this behavioral response is occurring, imperfectly and with lags, in several low income countries. Though parents may find themselves today with more offspring than they had anticipated or wanted, there is within the family unit a homeostatic mechanism that promises to bring the family formation process gradually back toward the privately desired equilibrium size, with the aid of reliable birth control.
But is there a comparable short-run feedback mechanism translating the reduction in adult death rates into pressures on parents to restrict their family size goals? Herein lie the roots of the Malthusian dilemma that may call for policy initiatives that go beyond family planning, that is, beyond the subsidized provision of birth control information, services, and supplies. The social costs and benefits of increasing the number of adults in a community are widely diffused through the society, and although the costs may be hard
tially less than half of the total, but this proportion would depend on the initial population structure and mortality regime, as well as the structure of change in mortality levels. Although for analytical purposes the two initial components of the increase in population growth are of primary importance, derivative sources of population growth would also follow, assuming constant age-specific birth rates and eventually constant age-specific death rates. As adult death rates declined, parents would complete more, of their childbearing years in a complete marital union, having, on average, more children. A secondary oscillation in the population growth rate might also ensue from the disproportion in the decline in age-specific death rates. Because the reduction in death rates is generally greater among the young than among adults, the youngest age groups in the population pyramid increase most rapidly. As this postwar wave of surviving babies reaches reproductive age, the changing age composition of the population will foster a rise in crude birth and population growth rates. Eventually, as the composition of the population approaches the stable (crgodic) age distribution dictated by the fixed age-specific birth and death rates, the preponderance of reproductive-aged women in the popu-